Disability Rights

About the Disability Rights Working Group 

The Disability Rights Working Group (DRWG) is committed to the constant interrogation of our understanding and responses to issues that impact disabled people. The DRWG hosts activities that provide greater awareness of these issues and that foster disability equality.

Upcoming Events

Past Events

Who We Are


  • Profile image of Laverne Jacobs

    Laverne Jacobs

    • (During her service as a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Professor Jacobs will continue to lead and work on academic projects with the Center, but will not be involved in any of our advocacy work.)
    • Profile

    Laverne Jacobs is a Professor of Law at the University of Windsor in Canada. She researches, writes and teaches actively in the areas of law and disability rights, human rights, and administrative law and justice. Through her research, she explores the lived experiences of people with disabilities in relation to the law. Professor Jacobs has published and lectured widely in Canada and internationally. She is the lead author of several books and articles including the first law and disability textbook in Canada (Law and Disability in Canada (2021)) and the Annotated Accessible Canada Act (2021). Professor Jacobs founded and directs The Law, Disability and Social Change Project, a research and public advocacy initiative housed at Windsor Law that works to foster and develop inclusive communities. She is also a Co-Director of the Disability Rights Working Group of the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law.

    Outside of the University, Dr. Jacobs has consulted with NGOs and government. She has been invited to serve on the Board of Directors of several organizations, has held public appointments on tribunals, and has testified as an expert before the Senate of Canada on disability issues. Dr. Jacobs has received recognition for her scholarship and leadership on disability equality, including the Touchstone Award from the Canadian Bar Association in 2021.

    Dr. Laverne Jacobs was elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2022 for the 2023–2026 term.

  • Portrait of Mark Bell

    Mark Bell

    In 2015, Mark Bell was appointed Regius Professor of Laws, a Chair founded in 1668. He is also a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. Prior to his appointment at Trinity, he was a professor at the School of Law, University of Leicester, where he was also Head of the School of Law (2011-2014). Mark conducts research in the areas of Equality Law and Employment Law. He is the author of Racism and Equality in the European Union (OUP, 2008) and Anti-Discrimination Law and the European Union (OUP, 2002). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Centre for European Law and the committee of the Employment Law Association of Ireland. In 2017, he organised the annual conference of the Berkeley Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group. In 2015, he was a Senior Expert on Disability for the European Commission’s Network of Legal Experts in Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination. He works regularly with a range of national and European NGOs dealing with equality issues, as well as international organisations. Since 2010, he has been working with the International Labour Organisation on several projects, and played a key role in producing a 2016 guide for employers on promoting diversity through workplace adjustments.

Student Assistants